Review Summary: Cheesy lyrics, a clash of centuries, but hey, you can't complain.
May I first state that it is in my hopes that this review will suffice in itself. For many of you reading this, the name may not ring any bells, and even I myself wouldn't have found this album if it hadn't been stacked by the hundreds in my nearest CD store. However, if I were to blame their inpopularity on anything, it would either be the nationality they hail from, or their mediocrity in songwriting. These lightweights, arising from Switzerland, play industrial metal, forging the melody from Black Metal with Electronic effects. I would only pinpoint them as Neo-Black Metal, with a style that is rather incomparable but possessing an experimentalism of bands such as "Sigh". Perhaps. For the record, I wouldn't care if they were as original as sunset, that's just bonus points.
Yet, they manage to create a great compilation with their latest record, Solar Soul
has a pretty consistent discography, and they should, and will appeal to many people. I find one downside in particular. Samael
is about as constipated as you can get. Let me elaborate; when Vorph utters out his vocals, it sounds pretty much as cheesy as, well, fermented Swiss milk. Quite frankly, I would've expected worse from the genre, but Vorph's grunt doesn't go all the way through to an actual growl from the diaphragm, but stays in between with an almost "just-woke-up" voice. In the aggregate, Solar Soul
features a wide range of electronic synth effects, and keyboard melodies to conform to Black Metal. Add that, a lead and rhythm guitar, and, insert onomatopoeia, you have metal with a contemporary vibe, at times showcasing a pop-esque groove. The intention is not only to put the melody of our forefathers in practice, but to inject catchiness and harmony of vocals vis-a-vis leads.
Almost all songs consist of what I mentioned afore, and the album is easily accessible while offering many benefits in the long run. Maybe initially you will find yourself working along the tracks, and helping yourself to this uncanny buffet, but time should remedy. The opening track, Solar Soul
sounds like a Nokia commercial; "One Nation - Generation / Connecting people in a collective mind", not to mention the emphasis on the word "push" which makes you feel like your in a labor room undergoing contractions. When all is said and done, this is maybe one of the most catchiest songs on the album, and definately a key opener to the rest of the album. Song 2, Promised Land
has an equally catchy hook and is probably a bit less bland. It sails through to the third song on the album, Slavocracy
, a final good effort of a more than decent Black Metal sequence. Nonetheless, the song most reminiscent of a real BM single would have to be On The Rise
which features a fill elating in key. It's nothing that makes you jump out of your chair, but even Valkyries New Ride
helps float the boat.
has done well in incorporating a modern twist to things, but there is nothing which absolutelty amazes me with this album, nor are there any technicalities which show any virtuosities on the bands part. A decent listen, and finally a record that should show at least some of the potential that this quartet possesses. Grace the marriage of era, and distinguish how Samael make the concept of Black Metal seem complete with Industrial Metal. However good it may sound, the fact remains that the group falls short of a defining opus.
- Solar Soul
- Valkyries New Ride